Preclerkship (Pre-PCE) Advising

Career advising in the first 14-18 months of medical school introduces students to a plethora of career paths. Students are encouraged to explore their interests and career aspirations, address any challenges and obstacles they may face while pursuing their career goals, and learn to maintain a personal and professional life balance.

  • Faculty member standing in front of a screen engaging with a small group of students.
  • Six students gathered in a circle to chat in the Toteson Medical Education Center (TMEC) Atrium. Photo: Grace Fehrenbach
  • A student and faculty member engaging in conversation together. Photo: Lipofsky
  • A group of students gather around a student near a poster display that reads "Emergency Medicine" and "Anesthesiology" on it during Professional Development Week (PDW). Photo: Grace Fehrenbach.

Individual Career Advising

Society Advisor

All students are assigned to an Academic Society and a society-specific primary advisor who acts as a “Primary Care Physician” of the advising team. The society advisor serves as a liaison to curricular, extra-curricular, research, career and specialty advisors throughout a student's journey at Harvard Medical School. Advisors help with finding a mentor and shadowing experiences, specialty choices, and the residency application process: MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation) guidance, obtaining Letters of Recommendation, reviewing Personal Statements, filling out application sections and preparing for interviews.


Preclerkship (Pre-PCE) students who wish to engage in shadowing opportunities with clinicians and researchers in specialties of interest may contact their Academic Society, Career Advising staff, the Office of Scholarly Engagement (OSE) or the Dean for Students for assistance.

Dean of Students

The Dean for Students works with students across all years and all Societies to explore ways to enhance or address aspects of the entire student experience, from education to student life to career planning, and works with students to develop innovative solutions to issues and concerns. The Office of Student Affairs features a career advising nook with Match resources, HMS-specific Match data, post-Match surveys, advisor list and specialty-specific resources.

Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs (ORMA)

ORMA focuses on the recruitment and support of medical students who are from groups underrepresented in medicine (URiM), including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ); first-generation college students; and students who are economically disadvantaged. ORMA fosters an inclusive and respectful environment that is supportive of all students, faculty and staff.

Group Career Advising

“Lessons Learned Along the Way”

Annual presentation on professional and personal life balance presented by the Director of Career Advising. 

Specialty Interest Series

A career seminar series that brings clinicians from affiliated hospitals to HMS for panel discussions on a specialty. Seminars are offered approximately biweekly, with representation of 19 specialties covered over the course of the year. A session on alternative medical careers is also offered. The series is moderated by the Director of Career Advising.

Specialty Mentoring

Often offered directly following the Special Interest Series seminars, drop-in small group meetings for students with faculty/resident specialty speakers provide career networking opportunities and early exposure to various specialties.

Professional Development Week (PDW)

During Year I, students in the Pathways curriculum take part in a Professional Development Week in which they engage in assessment, feedback and self-reflection activities related to clinical skills. These experiences help students at an early stage in their medical education reflect on various components of practicing medicine and provide guidance for developing individualized learning plans. Students complete the Introduction to Careers in Medicine AAMC survey and career assessment during PDW.

“On the Road to the PCE”

Senior students discuss how first-years can begin to prepare for PCE, how to get the most out of it, how to optimize time on clerkships to explore specialty selection, when to think about research or other degrees, and how to make career decisions. Note: First-year dental students have a separate career session at the same time, organized by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) Student Affairs Office.

London/Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Career Advising Dinners 

The London Society hosts dinners open to HST students in all years. HST alumni present their career paths; students and faculty meet for dinner thereafter. 

Student Specialty Interest Groups

The Student Specialty Interest Groups fall under the umbrella of the Careers in Medicine Program at HMS, in collaboration with HMS/HSDM Student Council. These groups provide students with opportunities to be introduced to and familiarized with their specialty interest(s) as they work to choose a specialty and undergo a successful residency Match. Interest groups host talks and provide opportunities to bring together students and faculty with shared interests in a particular specialty.

Student Interest Pages (log-in required)

Conversations in Medical Life Series

This enrichment series is offered twice a year and provides information and ideas to help students flourish in their professional and personal lives.

Clinician Scientist Series

This career series is offered three to four times per year, featuring guest speakers with significant accomplishments in both medicine and research.